In one of the biggest upsets of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Japan mounted an incredible 2-1 comeback victory over four-time champion Germany. But almost as remarkable as the win itself was the state of the Japanese team’s locker room afterwards.
While victory celebrations often leave changing areas strewn with discarded tape, bottles, and wrappers, the Japanese squad made a point of cleaning up after themselves. Photos of their locker room went viral, showing a pristine room with folded towels and arranged bottles. The trash bins were empty and the floor seemingly swept.
Showing their graciousness even further, the Japanese players left handwritten notes in both Japanese and Arabic, thanking their hosts along with origami cranes crafted from paper.
The cleanup and thank you notes are signs of both humility and respect from the Japanese team. They take pride in leaving any venue in as good as shape as when they arrived, if not better. It’s an example of outstanding sportsmanship and class.
Japanese fans also stayed after the historic victory to clean up their sections in Khalifa International Stadium. Gathering trash into blue plastic bags, they walked the stands picking up cups, bottles, wrappers, and other leftovers from the jubilant scene.
Both the Japanese players and their fans showed great courtesy and responsibility in the aftermath of such an exhilarating win. Their cleanup efforts earned almost as much global praise as the victory itself. It was a subtle but profound demonstration of national pride and the Japanese commitment to cleanliness and order.